What to read after... Dread Wood

Published on: 28 February 2024

The Dread Wood series has ensnared many readers in its web of horror and humour. But what to read next? Here are some suggestions that will also send a shiver down the spine 

More scares 

If gore and tension are popular, try Bite Risk by SJ Wills, and the Sticky Pines series by Dashe Roberts. Both have contemporary teens trying to solve terrifying situations. For readers who prefer shorter books, The Invasion of Crooked Oak by Dan Smith is dyslexia-friendly, and packs an equally sinister punch. Similarly, Shiver Point by Gabriel Dylan is short, yet includes a lot of tension and a great team of misfit teens. For readers who prefer the balance tipped in favour of humour and action, try the Horror Heights series by Bec Hill, or The Vanquishers by Kalynn Bayron 

Unsettling characters 

The Monsters of Rookhaven by Padraig KennyThe Monsters of Rookhaven by Padraig Kenny

We will never look at certain school staff in the same way after Dread Wood... For more characters that are super unsettling, try The Monsters of Rookhaven by Padraig Kenny, which not only stars various horrific monsters, but includes shadowy, scary illustrations by Edward Bettison. Our Sister, Again by Sophie Cameron and TrooFriend by Kirsty Applebaum both explore whether an android really can bejust like a human. And for something different, but with familiar elements, Mister Creecher by Chris Priestley is dark and unsettling. 

Contemporary teen stories 

Glow Up Lara Bloom by Alexandra SheppardGlow Up Lara Bloom by Alexandra Sheppard

One of the joys of the Dread Wood series is the banter and growing friendship between the teen protagonists. If your reader is looking for more contemporary, humorous voices in teen fiction, they’ll enjoy Steady for This by Nathanael Lessore and Glow Up Lara Bloom by Dee Benson. If it’s friendship groups that attract them, try Friendship Never Ends by Alexandra Sheppard. And if they’re keen on gritty reality, then Rat by Patrice Lawrence and The Den by Keith Gray, both short and dyslexia-friendly, are gripping reads. 

Jennifer Killick’s recommendations 

We asked Jennifer to suggest some books to her fans: 

"Books by Phil Hickes (like The Haunting of Aveline Jones) for readers who love suspense and incredibly creepy scenes. Also, the Monstrous Devices series by Damien Love, which is full of action and wonderfully dark. I also love the new Skulduggery Pleasant graphic novel by Derek Landy, PJ Holden and Matt Soffe." 

We asked her for some suggestions a few years ago too: Seven (not too) scary books for 8-12 year olds | BookTrust 

Join in! 

Those are some of our ideas – but what about you? What creepy horror stories do you love reading? 

Let us know by tweeting us @BookTrust using the hashtag #WhatToReadAfter.

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